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This post was originally published on November 14, 2021
The latest update to this post was made 2 years ago.


Friendsgiving is something that has become very popular in the past few years. Many will spend Thanksgiving with family but will also host a special gathering for just friends.  Friendsgiving may also be the only gathering for some who do not have a family.  Friendsgiving can be as elaborate or relaxed as you want.  Many family gatherings have traditions that are passed down from member to member.  These traditions can be incorporated into your Friendsgiving gathering.   

Planning a Friendsgiving the guest list needs to be made and invitations sent.  Invitations can be online, mailed, emailed or handed in person.  When inviting people, be mindful of handing them out in person.  Others who are not invited may get their feelings hurt if they see an invitation going around the work place.


Once the guest list is in place and people have responded, the amount of people to plan for is easy. Food is the next step in the planning process.  If you do a pot luck where each person brings a dish, assign people a dish to bring or circulating a list people can sign up to bring a certain dish is also easy to do. As the host, make sure you prepare one meat dish, one vegetarian dish, and two deserts.  Having water and tea are good options for drinks. This way there are enough options covered in case everyone brings meat dishes only or deserts only and covers the food if nobody responds to the dish assignments or sign-up list.

This article, also on Blog Encounters, may be of interest:  Thanksgiving 2017 Already!

Taking care of all food by yourself is easier but could be costly.  Having two meat options, turkey and ham, are always good.  Side dishes are easy to prepare.  For under 5 guests plan on having 3 side dishes, for 5 to 10 guests plan on having 7 side dishes and for 10-20 guests plan on having 11 side dishes.  Doubling up on recipes for side dishes counts as 2 side dishes.  This is acceptable for the more popular side dishes such as macaroni and cheese and green bean casserole.

Treat deserts the same as side dishes.  People will indulge in sweets more on holidays than any other time.  Having cookies, small brownies, small cupcakes and taster items are always popular at any holiday gathering.

Chocolate Pie Image


Decorations make holiday gatherings festive and should reflect your personality.  Party City   has a variety of decorations for all tastes.  People forget about places like Hallmark .  They have a variety of interesting items and can be found in all cities.  Ordering ahead of time will allow you to order decorations and more from Oriental Trading Company .   This is an online ordering catalog and very reliable. 


Fun activities at your Friendsgiving can be simple as food and relaxing, watching holiday movies or even crafts people can take part in.  One craft that will get people talking is a Thankful Tree.  There are many DIY kits or you can make your own.  Guests write what they are thankful for on a leaf and place it on the tree.  The tree can be a paper tree or thin branches in a vase.  What people write what they are thankful for can be pre-cut leaves or any other shape you desire. Use self-sticking adhesive dots or tape to attach them to the tree.

This article, also on Blog Encounters, may be of interest:  Surviving Thanksgiving With A Toddler

Friendsgiving Tree Image

Many guests you invite may have children and this should be kept in mind when serving alcohol.  You as the host should stay sober to monitor all guests and have a plan for any drunk guests such as an extra room for them to sleep. Staying safe and reminding people about safe drinking sounds like you are taking the party out of the party, but safety should never be compromised. 

Children crafts, toys and movies should be in a child safe room away from the party.  Hire a babysitter to stay in the room with the children and this will allow parents to enjoy themselves with all the adults.  You can ask parents to chip in for the babysitter or cover this cost yourself.

If you are single, invite only single friends and ask each one to bring a friend.  This will also increase the chances for singles to make a match.  After dinner, games can be played to encourage dialogs.  This will allow everyone to get to know each other.  Friendsgiving can be a fun time to gather and enjoy food as well as each other’s company.  People will not be alone on Thanksgiving and new friendships or love can be a result of a Friendsgiving.

Tags: #friendsgiving #thanksgiving #family #friends


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